HCBE Faculty Articles

Title

Storytelling in Reputation Management: The Case of Nashua Mobile South Africa

Document Type

Article

Date

2011

Publication Title

Management Decision

ISSN or ISBN

0025-1747

Volume

49

Issue

3

First Page

405

Last Page

421

Description

Purpose

– The purpose of this paper is to determine how and to what extent corporate reputational elements are reflected in organizational storytelling in a telecommunications company. In addition, it seeks to establish the importance of employees as part of reputation building.

Design/methodology/approach

– Taking a case approach, this paper examines storytelling in a branch of a well‐known South African telecommunications service provider, Nashua Mobile. The staff went through in‐depth interviews.

Findings

– Many different stories were told about Nashua and other organisations to illustrate an idea or concept. There was a mixture of negative and positive, funny and serious stories that, although contrary, are the sum of the personality, culture, image or heritage of Nashua. The emphasis of the values that the stories revealed determined the more important cultural beliefs. This does have an influence on the firm's identity, corporate brand and reputation.

Practical implications

– The more stories are shared, the more in‐tune with employees' needs, ideas, behaviour and concerns management can be. Management can only benefit by a process where staff collaborate and share their views. It is an important tool that should be used for organizational communication.

Originality/value

– This is one of the first papers that links storytelling to corporate reputation. It recognises the key role employees play in building and influencing the reputation of an organisation.

DOI

10.1108/00251741111120770

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